The Leonard Baskin and Gehenna Press collection, donated by Maurice and Edith Shulman in 1972, includes several books and ephemera printed by the Northampton (Mass.)-based publishing house. Baskin, famous for his woodcarvings, sculptures, and prints, founded the Gehenna Press in 1942 while studying art at Yale. He named the press after a line in John Milton’s "Paradise Lost."
The 27 books in the collection span 40 years of publication—1952 to 1992—and reflect the evolution of the Gehenna Press from a one-man printing house to a nationally recognized enterprise. Books of particular note include Baskin’s "Castle Street Dogs: Wood Carvings" printed in 1952, and "Horned Beatles and Other Insects: Etchings," published in 1958. Both feature Baskin’s artistic hand and represent modern versions of bestiaries popular in medieval times.
In addition to books, the collection contains several folders of various printed material, including Gehenna Press exhibition catalogs, publication prospectuses, and holiday greeting cards, ranging from 1954 to 1998.
See also two letters from Baskin in the Autograph collection.